255. Diesel and Dust – Midnight Oil

DIESEL AND DUST (1987)

Midnight Oil

There are thousands of lead singers that are better and more gifted vocalists than Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, but I venture to state that there are few that are more passionate and believe what they are saying more than the tall, lanky and conspicuously bald politician, Christian activist.

Midnight Oil was less a band and more a musical billboard for Garrett’s political passions, especially the plight of the Australian Aborigines. Diesel and Dust ends of being a concept record of the plight and features the most recognizable Midnight Oil composition, Beds are Burning. The song was an anthem for the Aborigines and was also the song that put Midnight Oil on the map. It may also be one of the best songs of the entire decade of the 1980’s.

But Beds are Burning is not the only great song from this great album. Put Down that Weapon is the closest in style to BAB and should have been an easy follow up hit. Dreamworld is a personal favorite and contains the best melodies on the album. Sell My Soul is also worthy of recognition.

Rolling Stone Magazine listed the album one of the Top 20 albums of the 1980’s and the recognition is well deserved. Very few albums from the 80’s possessed the passion, chops and lasting presence this album owns.

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  1. Grenville
    July 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Don’t underestimate drummer/backing vocalist Rob Hirst’s influence on the lyrical concerns of the band.

    Sometimes Peter Garrett is singing someone else’s words.

    In their homeland of Australia, the true classic Midnight Oil album is 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Nick Launey’s production is stunning.

  2. October 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

    My favourites from this album are “Dead Heart” and “Warakurna”. I love the line “Forty thousand years can make a difference to the state of things”

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